Saturday, October 22, 2016

Is Modern Life Harder in Some Ways?

"While oppression, misery and suffering were very real in ancient times in many places, to dismiss all of human history as simply this is not only ignorant, it is just plain wrong. People in ancient times were not always miserable and suffering; in many, very real areas of life, they were far better off than people today.

People were not at the mercy of the machine; they worked outdoors in line with the seasons. They were embedded in webs of relationships with other people, as opposed to the alienated, urbanized existence we experience today. Most business was conducted face-to-face. They ate fresh, locally-grown food, often cultivated themselves, instead of the highly processed, nutritionally-barren food of today. We know that today's crushing work schedules and artificial light wreak havoc on the body's circadian rhythms, leading to a whole host of maladies. 

People did physical work, and yes, that could break down the body, but overall it ensured that people were healthier, both physically and mentally (no need for gyms). Chronic diseases, which are epidemic today--asthma, diabetes, autism, obesity--existed but were rather rare (yes, that includes cancer, too). People didn't get sick from breathing the air. The constant fear of your job going away, the constant jumping through educational and licensing hoops just to keep your job, and the "hustling existence" were unknown. Workers were not subject to the tyrannical "discipline" of modern labor. You generally worked alongside friends and family members with whom you broke bread, and drinking on the job was not a problem. The musical chairs game where you are constantly trying to get a leg up on the competition by working harder or trying to get more education than the next guy to get one of the constantly shrinking pool of jobs was not in evidence either. 

People were not subjected to 2,000 advertisements a day preying on their insecurities just to get them to buy more. They walked everywhere instead of driving--no "commuting" to jobs, which would have made no sense (and still doesn't). They lived in large, extended families, something we know is associated with better health and well-being (The "Roseto Effect"). Children were generally cared for by their mothers and received attention from their parents unavailable to most children today.

Now, to be clear, this is not to say everything was a paradise. For many people post-Neolithic revolution, getting sufficient calories was often very difficult. Famines were horrific when they did occur; there are reliable reports of thriving markets for human flesh in ancient China, for example, just to stave off starvation. Class systems and hierarchies were unfair and rigid. War and conflict, primarily over land, was frequent post-agriculture"

I saw this posted on a Reddit board, forget which one, it makes one thing about this modern life compared to life in the ancient world. I also think about that bible prophecy about our times....

Daniel 12:4 But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.


Anonymous said...

The machine has engineered the "Slow Kill" and you are right about the TV Averts. Look up the Flexner Report. - Don

Anonymous said...

There is more stress in the modern life - being bombarded day and night with a constant stream of negative news. Also, it used to be that one could get away from it all and do some deep thinking and prayer, but now there is no place to hide. Yes, you can be reached anywhere at anytime and there is advantage in that, but at what price?

If one watches some of the old nostalgia series there were no cell phones,or even in some cases TV. Life was simpler. But it did not have our modern conveniences which are designed to make life easier and free up more time, but instead stress us out. People are on anti-depressants, more diseases, related to stress. People are wound up so tight they are operating on short fuses - hence the many incidents of road rage and emotional reactions where people snap and do horrendous things. I suppose that has always happened to some extent but it seems to have escalated.

Bible Believer said...

Agree about the "slow kill", my illnesses are worsened by this modern life, I am sure of it. Thanks regarding Flexner report, I'm still planning to post the other video you shared Don, watching it still.

Modern life is not what I would choose. If I had good health I believe I would seek another alternative life style but I tethered via medical and other needs. Finding a life outside of it is all is harder now then ever before. The negative news and pressures get to be too much. I know there's many times I and my husband just want to close the world out. Yes where does one go to get away from it all now? I tried to find peaceful places in nature where I can get it and I have life rules about never living in a city over a certain population.

I am old enough to remember when there was no cell phones and life was simpler and more straight forward. I know things have changed. Even when I moved here I had culture shock from my old small poorer town being technologically behind the times though it has caught up now for sure. People have even less time then before and are in a rush, to do many things. I'm out of the running due to illness but watching how normal people run around, I don't know how they think or rest or even have time to bond with another person. Yes the "rage and snapping" have escalated.